Sweat was flying as fighters trained in their home gym in Cranbrook for their upcoming bouts in the Battle for the Border: Redemption on Saturday night at Western Financial Place.
A dozen bodies hit pads and rolled around on the mats while Sensei Mike Corrigan roamed around and corrected bad form as amateur and professional fighters get ready to step into the ring in front of the hometown crowd.
For some, it’s a familiar process as they get closer to the event, while for others, it’s a new feeling.
Fighters are limiting their contact and training in order to prevent any injuries, and are also cutting their weight down in preparation for weigh-ins, which goes down on Friday.
The amateur fight card features three local fighters, and would’ve included a fourth, but an opponent backed out of the fight at the last minute.
Jesse Cuthill, Adam Wills and Mike Seguin are all stepping into the ring, and would’ve been joined with Donovan Hack, however, his bout fell through.
Wills is the most experienced amateur of the four, with a record of 4-1, while Cuthill will be making his fighting debut.
Cuthill used to work with Corrigan in Shotokan (Karate) and Judo many years ago and training in mixed martial arts is just an extension of that background.
He is facing Tom O’Connor, a fighter with one bout and win to his record who is representing the U.S. and Montana state.
“I just want to go out there and have a have a good ol’ brawl,” said Cuthill, who will be fighting in the 155-pound division.
The hometown crowd will be an advantage, but also a little intimidating at the same time, he added.
“It’s nerve-racking, but that’s okay,” said Cuthill. “I got this.”
Mike Seguin is making a return to the ring for the second fight of his career, after winning his debut at the first Battle for the Border event last September, where he submitted Joshua Strate with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
“It felt great,” said Seguin, when he reflected on the win. “To win in front of my friends and family in Cranbrook was awesome.”
Seguin, who will compete in the 145-pound division, faces off against Robert Nelson, a fighter out of Calgary with a win and two losses under his belt.
“Going into this, I’m super-pumped,” Seguin continued. “I’m excited and trying to carry that momentum forward and keep a win streak going.”
He knows he’ll have his hands full against Nelson, who Seguin says “is a decent wrestler and has good hands.”
However, the Cranbrook fighter has some tools of his own.
“I’m good at ju jitsu and I’ve got some decent stand up too, so it’s going to be a good fight,” Seguin said.
“…I feel strongest in my ju jitsu, but I’ve been putting a lot of work into my kickboxing, into my hands so I can box the guy and strike with him.”
Check the Daily Townsman later this week to hear which fighters on the professional card will be featured at Battle for the Border: Redemption.